really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,771 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2010 Chevrolet HHR drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2010 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments

problem #15

Jan 292016


  • 41,600 miles


In a parking garage on the 4th floor. Backing out of space. While backing up, I hear a loud boom. Nothing behind me. Thought perhaps a tire failure. Put vehicle in drive to pull forward out of traffic lane, and the engine accelerated uncontrollably. Brakes wouldn't respond. By the grace of G-D or reflexes, I turned the wheel to the right to avoid flying through the guardrail and off the 4th story of the parking garage. Vehicle came to a halt when it smashed into a concrete support pillar. Both air bags detonated, passenger-side air bag apparently broke the windshield on that side. Engine shut off. Lights in passenger compartment turned on, hazards started flashing on/off (couldn't turn them off). Waited for tow truck for 5 hours. Tow drivers had to jump battery - couldn't get front hood open, back door electronic lock non-functional due to dead battery. Tow driver climbed inside car, removed inside decking to access battery. Tow driver jumped battery, attempted start. First two or three times, it wouldn't start, eventually on the 4th or 5th time it started but the engine was racing again. Tow driver put car in reverse and it flew backward (I thought it was going to go off the deck of the garage backwards...). he stopped the vehicle, turned the wheel and headed forward - it shot down the ramp until they got it out of the garage and on the truck (I was outside the vehicle watching from a safe distance while he did this). Vehicle totaled. Not sure what the problem is/was, but I'm lucky to be alive. Have heard of issues involving stuck idle solenoids, drive train problems, etc.

- Highland Park, IL, USA

problem #14

Apr 272015

HHR 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Wife and children in car on highway. Slowed down car in traffic. All of sudden no acceleration as all forward gears provided no power. Car would go only in reverse. Car was on, just no forward power. Onstar found no trouble codes, mechanic scanner found no diagnostic trouble codes. Family had to be rescued by state highway patrol as care was broke down in middle lane of highway with semi trucks going 65mph on both sides.suspected catastrophic transmission failure.

- Marysville, OH, USA

problem #13

Jan 132015

HHR 4-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
*this an update on file number-# 10672324-2010 Chevrolet HHR-shifter problem on my last filing I stated that we had another recall on our 2010 Chevrolet HHR. Previous recalls were the ignition switch and the power steering system. But I found out that the key getting stuck when the car is in park, is not a official "recall, but it should be! we received a letter warning us of the problem and if it occurred, GM would fix it for free. Well, as I reported, it did happened. My husband parked the car, and we were preparing to go to his doctor"S' appt. & to an evening service & the key got stuck. No power, no nothing, we tried everything. And that thing that the manual said would help us release the key, was not there. So the car, sat there draining the battery. Dr. appt's were missed. And because we both had appt's coming up, we had to rent a car. But to sum it all up. When the toll driver came, he was able to jump the car, and the key came out. After taking the car to the dealer, they could not duplicate the problem. They said that the battery was gone. But it was fine before the key got stuck. They refused to change the shifter. We got a new battery, and are praying that we won't get stranded if it happens again. And we are going to continue to fight for ourselves and for others! no reimbursement for the battery or the rental. We have made our complaints to the management at the dealer & to GM. And one more thing, our first sign of trouble before parking the car, was that the air bag light would not go off. An issue also after the new ignition switch was put in. This is a recall item. But once again, GM cares more about saving a dime. Not lives. Not a safety issue? I can think of few scenario's that say that they are wrong!-thank you, and "be blessed" [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #12

Nov 112014


  • 114,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 45 mph, the transmission would make an abnormal noise when shifting into gear. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 114,000.

- Dubberly, LA, USA

problem #11

Sep 272014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 65,250 miles
While driving over independence pass in Colorado at 14,000 feet, about a half mile from the top on a windy, two lane road with lots of cars traveling in both directions the car began to stall and stumble. We had to pull over the best we could not to block traffic (this is a two lane no shoulder, no guardrail, mountain highway with many switchbacks) we were headed uphill and with no power had to roll slowly back to the switchback to turn around. The car would start and stumble just enough to maneuver it around going down hill. It was 5pm on a Friday evening miles from any retail store and out of cell phone range so we were pretty desperate. We coasted down the mountain road, starting the stumbling and sputtering engine when our speed became to much or we approached a switchback so that the power brakes could be used to slow us down. This went on for 20-30 minutes until we were off the hazardous part of the mountain pass and then when we attempted to start the car it remained running. We will never attempt to get into a hazardous situation with this car ever again. This could have resulted in serious damage or death. We could have been stranded on this mountain pass for the evening. This was the second time in a 2-3 day period this stalling occurred. Other cars passed us by without issue and in fact I have taken many cars over independence pass in the past with no issues. I spoke to my dealer and they indicated they were not aware of any issues, and it must have been the gas. This gas in the first stall two days prior was not local gas, this gas on the stall on the mountain pass was local gas. In no way I believe it was poor gas related. I believe there is a serious issue with the programming of the engine control that could have cost us dearly.

- Carrollton , TX, USA

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problem #10

Jan 152014

HHR 4WD 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Currently what I am driving my gears are getting stuck and this noise comes out when I drive, also my sensor is defective my lights in my car go off and on, a light saying I have low air on my tires go on. I have taking my car to the tire shop and even changed my tires but that did not work. My accident happen in January 2014 however there is new things that are occurring and I need help with the General Motors to fix my car. When the car was recalled I took it in and they only fixed the ignition switch and power steering I told them about the rest of the issues that I was having such as the transmission and I was told that was not their problem.

- Ramona , CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 302014


  • 55,999 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet HHR. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle decelerated without warning and stalled. As a result, another vehicle crashed into the side of the contact's vehicle. A police report was filed and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 55,999.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #8

Aug 062014


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet HHR. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle began to jerk and would not accelerate. The service traction warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 89,000.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #7

May 032014


  • 106,774 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle suddenly failed to accelerate and stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the transmission fluid was leaking due to a fractured transmission coolant hose. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 106,774.

- Kings Port, TN, USA

problem #6

Mar 062014


  • 43,000 miles
Driving down the road, no noise or indication of a problem then power steering indicator came on. No power steering. Pulled over, turned off the car and checked under the hood. Everything was intact. Got back in, steering was working again. Maybe 2 minutes down the road and got the power steering warning again. Power steering was gone again. 4 year old car should not have this issue-would like to see recall.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #5

Jul 282013

HHR 4-cyl

  • 59,343 miles


The power steering (electrical) warning light came on and my power steering failed as I was pulling out of a gas station making a left hand turn. I was able to put the car in reverse and back into the parking lot. I turned the car off and restarted it. The same warning flashed and the power steering failed again. My wife, eight-year old daughter, and I were getting ready to get onto the expressway before this occurred. After doing research, I have uncovered the fact that GM has had this type of problem with the cobalt and other models (including many HHR owners) but have yet to recall the HHR for this problem even though there are many online complaints about the same exact problem occurring around the 45,000-60,000 mile mark. The fact that GM knows that certain components are failing and have not yet recalled the vehicle is troubling. If this malfunction were to happen at high speed (with no previous warning light of a potential problem until actual power steering failure), or in the middle of a turn in a busy intersection, the results will be catastrophic. I would like to hope that GM would be more proactive in protecting the lives of its customers and families. I really hope that it won't take a tragic "loss of life" event to get GM and the federal government to take the appropriate precautions to protect americans who drive this vehicle.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #4

Mar 142013


  • 60,000 miles
Power steering stops working at all speeds and conditions. Dash lights up saying power steering and from that point on until vehicle is restarted there is no power steering. It has happen many times over the last week dealer states that the power steering motor is bad and needs to be replaced at a cost of $265. There are 1000S of complaints of this happening why is nothing being done. Canadian HHR has a recall on this but not us HHR. Its not the money its the safety of the motoring public that is question here.if not for the fact I have driven a car not equipped with power steering before it could have been really bad when it turned off in a turn.

- Chesterfield Twp, MI, USA

problem #3

Jan 182013


  • 50,000 miles
Vehicle shut down due to power steering. Light came on, manual says to turn off engine and restart and it will clear light. However, when reaching speed of 40mph the power steering was again hard to turn. Again light came on. Vehicle is very hard to turn and get over to side of road especially if you are in the left hand lane and the power steering quits working. Upon the second time this happened, almost causing a wreck, it was extremely difficult to steer vehicle and get it off the roadway. Took vehicle to dealership and was told the vehicle needs power steering repair. Costing $365. What a costly repair on a new vehicle. I have had older vehicles that never had the power steering needing repair. Also ask that transmission be checked again. Vehicle has already had rebuilt transmission installed by GM/ Chevrolet. Transmission is still slipping when trying to get on freeway. When slowing down from high speed, the transmission will sound like it is slipping into another gear.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #2

Nov 072012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 51,600 miles
While driving and making my turn the powersteering went out on my 2010 Chevy HHR.this has happened a few times now, the chime would sound and power steering showed in the dashboard and after restarting the car it seemed okay.I see there is alot of complaints on this safety issue and this needs to be address before someone is killed because it is very hard to complete a turn with no power steering and you just don't expect that to happen which is more scarier.

- Eastpointe , MI, USA

problem #1

Oct 252011


  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the key would become stuck in the ignition, causing difficulty in shutting the vehicle off. The contact spoke with the dealer and was advised to let the vehicle run out of gas and then have the vehicle towed to the dealer. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the dealer advised that the failure was a known problem, but the contact had not heard back from the dealer with a solution. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 17,000.

- Avondale, LA, USA

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